How to Get Free or Low-cost Internet Service

There’s More Than One Way to Get Free or Low-cost Internet Service

Why do some people have access to the Internet and others don’t. There are many reasons. The two most common reasons amongst those that don’t have Internet access is because of finances, or it’s simply not available where they live. It’s referred to as the Digital Divide. Expensive luxury automobiles may be only for the wealthy, but the Internet is for Everyone!

Per the San Diego Foundation – According to TakingITGlobal, the digital divide now encompasses the ability, both technical and financial, to make full use of the technology available, taking into consideration access, or lack of access, to the internet.

Today there are resources for seniors, students, and low-income families to get free or low-cost Internet service. This articles takes a look at resources for free Internet and low-cost Internet options. There’s more than one way to to get free or low-cost Internet service.

image of people finding ways to get free or low cost internet service
There’s more than one way to get free or low-cost Internet Service …

There are several categories of people that need free or low-cost Internet service.

Government funded programs for low-cost Internet service

free-internet-service-from-the-government
Many government agencies offer free Internet service

There are several government programs that exist to make Internet service more affordable for those who qualify.


The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program – Helping people stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If your household is eligible, you can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household.

As of 12 May 2021, applications are being accepted. Use this link to check qualifications, apply, and find a provider in your area.


AT&T – Access Program

The Access Program from AT&T provides wireline Home Internet to limited-income households who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in California. Get started here. Or call 855-220-5211.


Spectrum Internet Assist

The Spectrum Internet Assist program provides reliable, high-speed internet access at an affordable price for those who qualify.

Eligible low-income households can receive discounted 30 Mbps high-speed internet, along with Security Suite and an internet modem, at no additional charge.

Spectrum Internet Assist requires no contracts, and as always, there are no data caps or hidden fees.


Lifeline Program

Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone service and internet service. Eligible customers will get up to $9.25 toward their bill. You can only use Lifeline for either phone or internet, but not both. To find a company near you and get Lifeline service, use this link.


Stay Connected with Internet First

In today’s world, reliable, fast internet access is a necessity! Internet First offers affordable internet access to qualifying low-income households. Because it’s important to stay connected, get the homework done, and more – they provide peace of mind with affordable Internet service for you and your family. Find out if you qualify here.

Low-cost Internet service for senior citizens

seniors dancing because they get low-cost Internet service
Free or low-cost Internet makes seniors dance and party!

Unfortunately, free internet for senior citizens is not something internet companies typically provide. But Internet Essentials from Comcast is available for qualifying seniors for only $9.95 per month.

Keep in mind that many senior citizens qualify for programs that are mentioned in other sections of this post. To get free or low-cost Internet service use the resources listed above.

K-12 Students can get free or low-cost Internet service

students-get-free-or-low-cost-internet-service-finally
Low-cost Internet service has the kids parading in the streets

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If your household is eligible, you can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)

Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household.

As of 12 May 2021, applications are being accepted. Use this link to check qualifications, apply, and find a provider in your area.


MediaCom

Mediacom offers a simple, affordable way to help students get quality home internet. If your child qualifies for free or reduced school lunches (NSLP), you could qualify for discounted home internet. Mediacom is a participant in the”EveryOne On” program.

Your household may qualify if:

  • Mediacom offers internet service in your community or area
  • You have at least one student in grades K-12 living at home
  • At least one child qualifies for free or reduced-price school lunch through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • You are not a current Mediacom internet customer and have NOT subscribed to our internet service in the past 90 days

Check your qualifications and apply here.


Cox Communications

The Cox Connect2compete program offers affordable home Internet. Through Connect2Compete, Cox opens a world of opportunity for families by providing low-cost, home internet with Wi-Fi, at a deeply discounted rate. This is a great way to get low-cost Internet service for your family.

To qualify you must be a new Cox customer with at least one K–12 student in your household who qualifies for public assistance programs. You can check eligibility, apply, and get connected by using this link.

College students can get free or low-cost Internet service

image of students finding free or low-cost Internet service
Students can find free or low-cost Internet service

Many of the programs listed above may apply to college students. Be sure to check with the staff and instructors for resources for low-cost Internet service for college students. New low-cost Internet service programs are being offered every month. Don’t forget about the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.

It is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households.


Mobile- Just One – Limited

Assurance Wireless Unlimited (as of 06/01/2021)

FREE cell phone plan supported by the federal government’s temporary Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program.

Assurance Wireless Unlimited includes:

FREE Unlimited Data
FREE Unlimited Texts
FREE Unlimited Minutes
FREE 10GB Monthly Hotspot Data
Up to 4G LTE speed
FREE AndroidTM Smartphone

Apply here.

Resources:

  • Spectrum Internet Service — As of 4/20/2021, because of the increase of online schooling, Spectrum is offering households with students (K–12 and college) and educators free broadband internet for 60 days with any plan up to 100 Mbps. For this free service, call 1-844-488-8395 to sign up. When I called Spectrum recently, the customer service agent said this deal won’t be around much longer, so if you’re in a Spectrum area, get these savings while you can. It’s not a free Internet service, but still a saving.
  • Millions of Students Got Free Home Internet for Remote Learning. How Long Will It Last? Read more here.
  • Best Internet and Cable Provider in Your Area — Search for deals here.

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Updated 10/05/2021 by Kirby Allen